You might think that SMRT is the source of all your problems, but that doesn’t mean you should refuse to sign up for the Citibank SMRT Card out of spite. Its name might make it sound like a glorified EZ-Link card, but it’s actually one of the better cashback credit cards available right now.
In fact, its benefits go beyond just MRT-related rebates. It’s one of the best cashback credit cards in Singapore with no minimum spend. Here’s what the Citi SMRT Card has to offer.
Citibank SMRT Card terms & conditions
|Citibank SMRT Card|
|Annual fee & waiver||$193 (waived for 2 years)|
|Supplementary annual fee||First 2 free, subsequently $96.30|
|Interest free period||25 days|
|Annual interest rate||26.90%|
|Late payment fee||$100|
|Minimum monthly repayment||1% or $50, whichever is higher|
|Foreign currency transaction fee||3%|
|Cash advance transaction fee||6% or $15, whichever is higher|
|Minimum income||$30,000 (Singaporean) / $42,000 (non-Singaporean)|
|Wireless payment||Visa payWave, Samsung Pay, Citi Pay|
Benefits of the Citi SMRT Card
Do you buy groceries at NTUC and assessment books at Popular? Do you eat fast food at McDonald’s and drink kopi at Toast Box? Does your idea of a nice evening out consist of coffee at Starbucks followed by a movie?
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, congratulations, you’re just like 99.9999% of Singaporeans. The Citibank SMRT Card gives you 4.7% or 5% (if you hit the min. spend of $300) in rebates at these places.
Here’s a list of cashback benefits you can get with the Citi SMRT Card:
|Spending category||Cash rebate (spend <$300)||Cash rebate (min. spend $300)|
|Groceries (NTUC Fairprice, Giant, Sheng Siong)*||4.7%||5%|
|Fast food (McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, Burger King, PastaMania, Sakae Sushi, BreadTalk, Pizza Hut, Toastbox)||4.7%||5%|
|Cafes (Starbucks, TCC, Coffee Bean, Coffee Club, Gloria Jean’s)||4.7%||5%|
|Movies (Cathay, Filmgarde, GV, Shaw)||4.7%||5%|
|Kids & pets (Popular, Toys ‘R’ Us, Pet Lovers Centre)||4.7%||5%|
|Online shopping (excludes travel)||2.7%||3%|
|EZLink reload amount >$30*||1.7%||2%|
|Healthcare stores (Watsons, Guardian, Unity, Nature’s Farm, GNC)||1.7%||2%|
*Do note that 5% SMRT$ is awarded for transactions of $50 and above only for groceries and EZ-link. For all transactions under $50, 3% SMRT$ is awarded instead, even if you hit the minimum spend of $300.
It’s one of the rare online shopping cashback cards with no minimum spend. (The only other one is the Standard Chartered Spree card, which loses out slightly – only 2% cashback on local online spending.) However, you shouldn’t use this card for online travel bookings as it’s excluded from the online category.
Also, whether it is buying movie tickets or fast food online, your spending could come under online shopping rather than their original spend categories, for which you will earn 2.7% (total spend below $300) or 3% for (total spend above $300).
If monthly spending is at least $300, you enjoy up to 3% savings on online shopping 2.7% + 0.3% (if monthly card spend is at least $300).
Finally, it’d be stupid if an “SMRT Card” didn’t give you decent rebates for taking the MRT, and EZ-Link is indeed one of the cash rebate categories on this card.
When you get the card, it will automatically have EZ-Reload enabled on it. There’s no convenience fee for EZ-Reload auto top-up transactions, and you can get up to 1.7% or 2% (if you hit the min. spend of $300) in rebates. It’s not great lah, but we’ll take what we can get.
Important note: The automatic top-up value is $30. You need to manually change the amount to $40 or $50 to get the maximum cashback of 1.7%/2%. To do so, you have to go to the MRT station to get them to cancel the EZ-Reload, wait a few days, and then reapply on the EZLink website.
Who should use the Citibank SMRT Card?
By now, you should have noticed that many credit cards try to market themselves to the ambitious, aspirational middle class, promising that using that piece of plastic will make you look richer and more sophisticated. Many of these cards are also pretty much useless if you’re not dining at fancy restaurants or jet-setting every day.
That’s where the Citibank SMRT Card differentiates itself. This is a card for basic Singaporeans who are not interested in cultivating an atas lifestyle to impress their peers, and for young and budget-conscious families it also works as an all-purpose cashback credit card.
The wide range of everyday merchants makes it possibly one of the most practical cash back credit cards out there for cost-conscious Singaporeans looking to cut their expenses further, no matter the age.
The main drawback is that it doesn’t really reward you for some of the more extravagant expenses in life. For instance, air tickets and hotel stays are conspicuously excluded from their cashback offer for online shopping, as are restaurant dining and entertainment.
Alas, the cashback isn’t unlimited. It’s credited in SMRT$ and there’s a cap of $600 a year (average $50/month). It’s quite convenient to convert your SMRT$ to cashback though – you can redeem SMRT$ via SMS.
Alternatives to the Citibank SMRT Card
There are some other cards on the market geared towards lower spenders who’re just looking to get a bit of cashback on their everyday expenses, such as the following.
Maybank Family & Friends Card – This is another good one for grocery shopping as there’s a 8% rebate at NTUC FairPrice or Cold Storage. You also get 8% rebate on bus and train rides, Grab, taxis and petrol, as well as fast food delivery from KFC, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. There’s a higher minimum spend of $800 a month though. (And if you hit $500/month, your rebate is 5%)
UOB Delight Card – This is another good one for groceries (Cold Storage, Market Place, Jasons, Giant, Guardian) and transportation – 8% cashback (min. spend $800/month) or 3% (min. spend $400). You also get 3% on contactless payments including bus, cabs, ERP and car park charges (min. spend $400). The obvious drawback is that cheaper supermarkets like NTUC FairPrice, Giant and Sheng Siong are not eligible for cashback.
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card – Get 5% cash rebate on all groceries and dining (minimum $600 spend per month for all 3 months in a calendar quarter) and up to 20.2% on petrol at Shell and Caltex.
Frankly, though, the Citibank SMRT Card is probably still your best bet if you already live a low-key lifestyle and want to save even more money.
Bonus: If you get this card through MoneySmart, you can get $120 cashback when you spend $1,200 in the first 3 months (eligible for new to bank customers). The offer is valid until 31 Jan 2020.
Do you have the Citibank SMRT Card? Share your reviews in the comments!